As you prepare for back-to-school, a new school year means new opportunities to grow your PTA. We talked to PTAs across the country that continue to grow membership every year—here are the tips they shared to help engage families in the community and grow membership.
Ask everyone to join (support or invest in) your PTA!
- Membership is open to anyone who supports the PTA mission: moms, dads, grandparents, foster parents, extended family members, teachers, staff, students (if allowed), community members, business leaders, public officials, etc. Target outreach recruitment each month to a different group.
- Make sure everyone on your PTA board joins!
- Use our DEI resources to support your recruitment efforts. Our new Multicultural Reference Guide has strategies to enhance PTA’s inclusion of untapped markets.
- Need ideas? Check out over 20 Membership Minute videos in both English and Spanish. Or join us on this year’s Membership Mania journey.
Start as early as you can.
- Ask everyone who was a member last year to support your PTA/PTSA again this year, even if their child has moved on to another school. Send out periodic email or text renewal notices.
- Ask your principal if you can have five minutes at the back-to-school staff meeting to share the value your PTA brings to your community and ask all staff to join PTA. Create a PTA value presentation or make a video using our PTA Welcome Back to School PowerPoint template.
- Ask everyone to join at all summer or back-to-school events at your school or in your community.
Make joining as easy as possible.
- Use an online membership platform to make it quick and easy to join. Contact your state PTA to find out if they provide a free online membership platform for PTAs in your state.
- Use a QR code that links to your online membership platform and put it everywhere! Have it on signs at all your PTA and school events, on your social media, on any flyers that are sent home, on signs around the school or even on business cards for your board. Check out our video on How to Create a QR Code in less than a minute.
- Have a paper form to join in addition to an online platform, and make sure it is available everywhere. Not everyone has internet access or is comfortable paying for membership online. Make sure all PTA board members and the school office have a supply on hand.
- Use all communication channels—in-person ask, emails, texting, newsletters, flyers, banners, school marquis and social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Provide a URL link, QR code or form to join your PTA in every communication.
- Make a personal ask to join PTA at every PTA and school virtual, in-person or drive-thru event.
- Add a “Join PTA” button/link to all your online event registrations or volunteer sign-ups.
Share the value of your PTA!
- Brand everything you do so your community knows it is the PTA doing the work or providing the financial support. It takes just a few minutes to Customize PTA logos, or you can use graphics from the You Belong in PTA or Membership Campaign to share the value of your PTA.
- Toot your PTA horn! Make sure your whole community (not just members) knows how your PTA is supporting students, teachers and families.
- Ask your principal to share the value your PTA brings to your school and encourage families and teachers to support PTA at staff meetings and school events. Check out this video for ideas to develop or improve your relationship with your principal.
- Provide special benefits/perks to your PTA members: family membership, free popcorn at movie night, discount to a local business, membership bundle with PTA gear, prizes and giveaways, etc.
- Offer in-person PTA meetings and events in a virtual way to attract more families who can’t always attend in person.
- Translate materials into the languages that are spoken by families in your community to be inclusive.
- Check out our grant opportunities and apply for all that will enhance your PTA’s work. Invite your families and community to attend your program event. Share your program stories with everyone! And share them with us by tagging @NationalPTA and using #HowWePTA #PTAProud!
- Focus on issues important to the families in your community. Our DIY Kit for Membership Growth helps you determine the needs of your community and how to align your PTA priorities.
- Share with your community how your PTA, state PTA and National PTA are advocating at the local, state and federal level to improve the lives of all children and families.
Focus on membership all year.
Back-to-school is a strategic time to focus on membership, but it is also important to focus on membership all year round. Check out the membership recruitment tools on National PTA’s website filled with graphics, PowerPoint presentations, videos and templates for more resources to help you grow your PTA. Together we are stronger, and our voices are louder for our nation’s children. And together we can grow membership and make every child’s potential a reality. Email us at Membership@PTA.org if you have any questions or need additional support.